Ch. 213 One Contracted With The Swarm King
I run, chasing after the hero.
It looks like most people in the vicinity have already evacuated. There are hardly any people left here. It’s to the extent that the knights are in a state of confusion as they surround us and peer at the situation before them while keeping their distance.
Nina and Adofu’s relatives are no longer here either. There’s just one more loose end to tie up. Now, where the hell did he go? I don’t expect him to be able to freely move his body just yet…
Partner barks. I follow Partner’s line of sight.
I notice Adofu, Ball Rabbit, and Nina hiding under the shade of a building. Adofu’s captured relatives are there as well, along with the knights.
They seem to be getting along well. Are the knights former subordinates of Adofu? So does that mean it will be easier to gain their trust if the suspicions towards the church and the hero keep on growing like they have?
I breathe a sigh of relief.
No… This is not the time to relax.
Upon hearing Partner’s cry, I regain my focus. Not until after I deal with the fleeing hero in some way can I say that the matter is settled. I know more about him than I need to for me to say that he isn’t the type of character who’ll go quietly if I leave him be.
I face forward and chase after the hero. Pretty soon, he’ll be at his wits’ end. One of his swords was flung away and Partner gulped down the other one. Likewise, his pegasus is unable to fight due to its injuries, and his MP is…
Species: Earth Huma
Status: Physical Resistance (Large)
…144, huh? Well, the hero did just cast a bunch of support magic… Did that cause his MP to get like that? Even though he’s in the middle of running away, he’s not using Quick. Is it because he’s preserving his MP? At best, he has a quarter remaining, which from his perspective must seem like a worst case scenario. It’s only to be expected that the way he moves will change compared to before when he could do whatever he wanted.
I trump him in speed when it comes to raw stats, so as long as I keep running, I should catch up to him quickly. This will be a hard fight the moment he slips into a residential area… Before it reaches that point, somehow or another, I need to…
“[[Summon]]! [[Summon]]! [[Summon]]!”
Three pillars of light rise between me and the hero. So, he could summon things other than the pegasus?
One by one, clouds of dust billow up into the air as the glowing ground splits open, revealing something deep crimson in color that crawls out. They’re long and narrow with a diameter similar to that of a human waist, but with a body length nearing three meters.
Mouth-like protrusions spread out over the entirety of all their heads. One of them flails into a building, destroying its wall. Yeah… These definitely don’t look like the kinds of monsters that a hero would summon.
Species: Grand Worm
Species: Grand Worm
Species: Grand Worm
…Nothing but a pain in the butt. Simply put, they’re overgrown earthworms. Compared to the red ants, all of them are slightly inferior in status. They only exist to buy the hero time. It would certainly be useful if he could keep on summoning, so long as his MP holds out, buuut…
I kick off the ground and when I do, Partner pulls her head in. She seems to have a general grasp of my actions.
I curl my body up into a ball in midair and use [[Roll]], throwing myself at the grand worms. All three are swallowed up by my tail and they’re dragged along as I roll.
Two are flung out along the way and one of them is torn asunder. Bodily fluids and torn pieces of flesh cover my body.
[456 experience points have been acquired.]
[Due to the title skill [[Walking Egg: Lv –]], an additional 456 experience points have been acquired.]
[Level of [[Ouroboros]] has increased from level 57 to level 58.]
Sorry… But, something like this? Yeah… It won’t buy you time. You’re shaving off what little MP you have remaining. If your last summoned reserves are these, then, well… sorry.
The hero looks back at me. I’ll keep on using [[Roll]], quickly close the distance between us, and ram straight into the hero’s back. The hero does a 180° turn and turns towards me, pulling out a third sword.
The blade, now exposed, is a blood red crimson color and emits a sinister glow. It’s the same sword that he stabbed Adofu with in the desert that induces status abnormalities… and his last sword.
“You. Are. Per-sistent!”
Should I undo my [[Roll]] and avoid it for a brief moment or continue on with ramming into him? It’s gonna bite me in the butt later if I blow the opportunity here to be able to attack him with a [[Roll]] that has a proper, prior windup. Besides that… the more this game of tag drags on, the more damage Haranae will incur.
I ramp up my speed. Half-assing this is just begging for the worst results. If I’m to attack, then an attack with no holdbacks it is.
“I’ll kill you! I will end you!”
His sword breaks through my scales. A numbing feeling shoots through my body, but… that’s it.
I can hear a scream coming from the hero.
I feel some resistance. I could see the hero tumbling through the air as blood splatters outward from him. He falls several meters away with the act of me nailing his body causing a loud sound.
[Acquired resistance skill [[Confusion Resistance: Lv 1]].]
I thought the skill would take care of it, but the feeling of my head spinning came down upon me. I’ve just gotten a resistance skill, which if I flip that over, means that I’ve just received a status abnormality. Is this an effect of that sword? The trajectory of my [[Roll] is thrown off course and I crash into a wall, stopping me and causing rubble to fall down on top of me.
I crawl out from under the pile of rubble and shake my head, throwing off the sand and grit that was stuck to it. So, what I recieved was some poison… and some confusion… Well, I got some paralysis too, however none of them are all that strong. Most of the confusion should’ve been knocked out of me with that big shock just now and the paralysis isn’t to the extent that I can’t move.
The hero was leaning against the wall of a building, no, he was leaning against a fracture running down the back of a building. So does that mean the right way for me to interpret this is that he parried my [[Roll]] just as I slammed into him?
Blood drips from his head and waist. The bleeding seems to be keeping one of his eyes shut. His shoulders oscillate with his breathing as his left hand holds firmly to the sword. Even from this distance, it’s plain as day that he’s putting a lot of strength into that tightly gripped hand.
We seem to have wound up right next to a residential area. The people fleeing from the execution site along with the knights that are guiding them are barely a stone’s throw away.
The hero tries to stand up, but falls down just as quickly as he tries, on the spot. In that sad state, I might even go so far as to say that his hips are broken. With that, even if he uses [[High Rest]] to recover, I don’t expect that he’ll be able to run in earnest again.
“Fu… Fuhu… Fuhuhu… You’ve really, truly, pissed me off. You know that? I’ve had enough… I’m going to curse this whole country to death. Apart from me, who has Holy, no one will be spared. Not you, not Adofu, not the damned priest, not that beastman, not a single one of them! All of them will suffer and die! …You shouldn’t have chased me around so persistently. You can regret that in hell.”
The hero points his whole hand at me while rambling on disturbingly. Without delay, I fire out a double [[Wind Slash]].
A purple light rises between me and the hero. The light swells up before immediately contracting inward, taking the shape of a human and losing its irradiance. What… What the heck is that?
[[Wind Slash]] violently rends into the purple mass, spraying out green bodily fluids everywhere… However, it isn’t even taken aback. Is that really a living thing?
[Experience points were not able to be acquired due to the difference in ranking being too great.]
Voice of God’s message echoes out within my head. Did… did it die because of that just now? No, there’s not a chance. Even now, it’s moving a part of itself that looks sorta arm-like, albeit slowly.
It looks at me with its eye-like cavities. I feet hot-headed and pale as unpleasant feelings stir up within me. Calm down, me. If that’s a monster, then I should be able to look up detailed information about it with Voice of God.
[[[Muscas Demilich]]: F- ranked monster.]
[A mass of curses made up of innumerable, individual, unassuming flies that have obtained powerful magic due to an incantation.]
[A magician once intended to obtain immortality by fashioning themselves a body made up of a swarm of ordinary houseflies to preserve their soul. This now is merely a shadow of their former self.]
[As of now, hardly anything remains of the magician’s sense of self. All that’s left is an aggregation of flies that curse people.]
[When their numbers dwindle, the flies scatter off and lay offspring, making up for the shortage in numbers. Afterwards they once again reform back into a human form.]
So… that’s a mass of flies? Euugh, that’s disgusting… No, this is not the time to be saying that. If that thing scatters, it’s all over. Somehow or another, I have to figure out a way to get that thing out of the way.
I’ve been handed the most terrible bomb to defuse, right at the last second no less.
I stop moving and keep my eyes tightly locked onto the swarm of flies, the ‘Muscas Demilich’. I don’t know what kind of things will provoke that thing.
Weaknesses… A weak point… Pull out an all or nothing and burn the whole thing to ashes with [[Scorching Breath]]? No, if that hero comes and interferes, then some of them could potentially slip past my breath.
The hero uses his sword to leverage himself and stands up, walking up to the Muscas Demilich.
“Fu… Fuhu… Fuhuhu…”
This is bad. He’s going to slash that thing with his sword. Though I haven’t thought anything through yet, I jump towards the Muscas Demilich anyways.
Innumerable F ranked monsters. I’ve gotta have something on hand. Wait, that’s it!
I bark to Partner.
Partner looks at me uneasily.
It’s [[Death]]! [[Death]]!! Use [[Death]] on that thing! You’re sure to be able to hunt with that if what you’re up against is a lower ranked monster! Hit that thing with the intention of using up the rest of our remaining MP!
If this doesn’t get through to her, then we’re all out of time. Please, Partner. I beg of you.
Thinking back on it, there were surprisingly a lot of situations where Partner picked up on my intentions. Ball Rabbit was oddly a good guesser as well, ultimately learning [[Telepathy]]. By some possibility, perhaps Partner has something that’s about to turn into a skill as well.
Partner acted violently when we first met when I evolved, but that might’ve been because she picked up on my anxiety about the double-headed thing. In fact, she stopped acting violently as soon as I considered her to be a part of me. If she can sense what I’m trying to tell her, even just a little, then there’s still a chance.
[Acquired characteristic skill [[Mutual Understanding: Lv 1]].]
Partner nods her head.
Partner barks at the Muscas Demilich. A black light envelopes the entire body of the Muscas Demilich. She actually, really seems to have poured in all of our MP. The scale of it and the MP consumption are on a completely different level compared to when we killed the red ant queen.
It makes an unpleasant sound that’s difficult to describe, but it sounds like something breaking.
[Experience points were not able to be acquired due to the difference in ranking being too great.]
[Level of normal skill [[Death]] has increased from level 1 to level 4.]
The Muscas Demilich’s body deforms in a gelatinous manner as it holds its outstretched hands to the sky.
“Ough… Oouughh… Ough…”
The Muscas Demilich’s mouth contorts and squirms as a voice-like sound dribbles out of it.
Immediately after that, a blood red sword slashes off the Muscas Demilich’s upper body. The pile of dead remains crumbles, falling to the ground.
“Fu… Fuhu… With this… And with this… Ah…? Aah??”
The hero looks at the remains of the dead insects and lets out a fatuous peep.
[Level of title skill [[Tiny Hero]] has increased from level 7 to level 9.]
Sure does seem like the Muscas Demilich is dead. [[Tiny Hero]] went up by two at once. Seems like it corresponded with how stupid dangerous that thing was.
“This should… Something like… this should… I-I-… T-this…”
The hero swings his sword a few more times at the pile of dead remains and limply falls to his knees. He scoops up the remains of the dead flies with his bare hands, the color draining from his face. He takes one of his hands to his bloodied waist and turns the palm of his other hand to his face. As he looks at his bloodstained hand, the emotion drains from his face.
“Hi- [[High Rest]]! [[High Rest]]! [[High Rest]]!!!”
The hero shouts, but light no longer comes out. Seems like his MP, too, has finally run dry. And, as one would expect, he probably can’t do anything now.
I leap upon the hero and sock him with my claws as hard as I can.
The hero flies clear to the other side as his body violently slams into a building. He picks up the sword he almost dropped, as if clinging onto it for dear life.
“Eeek!! Stay- stay away from me you monster!!”
The hero shouts while swinging his sword, striking the wall in the spot where his body crashed into. The cracked wall crumbles to pieces, leaving behind a gaping hole. The hero escapes through it in a frenzied manner that makes it look like he tumbled through it.
Exactly how far does his inability to know when to give up go?